Google’s constant algorithm updates and the ever-changing face of SEO can be frustrating for even the most experienced webmaster. One area that remains critical, however, is keyword research.
Keywords are the building blocks of SEO. Without them, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to know what topics your website should rank for in the search engines. That’s why keyword research is so important.
Unfortunately, keyword research can be a bit of a mystery for those who are just getting started with SEO.
In this article, we’ll demystify the process and show you how to do keyword research like a pro.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about how to do keyword research for SEO, PPC, and blogging.
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research, as the name suggests, is the process of finding and selecting keywords that you can rank for in search engines.
You need to select keywords that are relevant to your website’s topic, have a good amount of monthly searches, and are not too competitive.
When you know what keywords people are using to find websites like yours, you can optimize your website to have a higher ranking in search engines for those keywords.
This will help you get more traffic from people who are looking for the products or services that you offer.
Keyword research can reveal a lot about how people search for information online. It can also help you understand what keywords you should be targeting with your SEO and PPC campaigns.
Why Is Keyword Research Important?
There are two primary reasons why conducting keyword research is so important:
- Keywords Are The Foundation of SEO and PPC Campaigns
Keywords are the building blocks of any successful PPC or SEO campaign. By targeting the right keywords, you can ensure that your website will rank higher in the search engines for those keywords.
This will result in more traffic from people who are looking for the products or services that you offer.
SEO and PPC campaigns are different from other marketing efforts because they are driven by keywords.
This means that if you want to be successful with these campaigns, you need to start with keyword research.
- Keyword Research Can Reveal Valuable insights About Your Customers
One of the main benefits of keyword research is that it can help you to understand how people search for information online.
This can help you better understand what topics your website should be targeting with your SEO and PPC campaigns.
In addition, keyword research can also reveal valuable insights about your customers.
For example, you might discover that some keywords are being used more frequently by people who are looking for products or services in a specific location. This information can be used to target your campaigns more effectively.
How to Do Keyword Research — 6 Steps
Now that you know why keyword research is important, let’s take a look at how to do it.
Step 1: Define Your Goals
Before you start your keyword research, it’s important to define your goals. What are you hoping to achieve with your campaigns?
Do you want to boost your website’s traffic? Improve your conversion rate? Target a specific location?
By defining your goals, you can ensure that your keyword research is focused on the right areas. This will save you time and yield better campaign results.
Defining your goals is a lot simpler than it sounds. Just take a few minutes to think about what you want to achieve with your campaigns, and then make a list of those goals. Make sure to consult with your team to get their input on your goals as well.
Step 2: List Down Important And Relevant Topics Based On Your Goals
Once you have defined your campaign goals, it’s time to start brainstorming a list of relevant topics.
What topics are related to the products or services that you offer? What keywords do you think people would use to find those topics?
You can use a keyword research tool like SEMRush to get ideas for relevant keywords. Just enter a few seed keywords into the tool, and it will generate a list of related keywords.
You can also use Google to find relevant keywords. Just enter a seed keyword into the search bar and see what suggestions Google gives you.
It’s recommended to come up with at least 5 topic buckets, each containing 10-15 relevant keywords. This will give you a good starting point for your keyword research.
To do this, simply make a list of 5 topics that are related to your business, and then brainstorm a list of relevant keywords for each topic.
For example, if you sell bicycles, some relevant topics and keywords could be:
- Bike maintenance: how to clean a bike chain, how to fix a flat tire, how to lube a bike chain
- Bike riding tips: how to ride a bike, how to start biking, how to bike uphill
- Bike racing: how to race a bike, how to train for a bike race, how to win a bike race
- Bike touring: how to tour by bike, how to pack for a bike tour, how to camp while bike touring
- Bike commuting: how to commute by bike, how to dress for bike commuting, how to bike in the rain
Step 3: Research The Search Volume And Competition For Each Keyword
Once you have a list of relevant topics and keywords, it’s time to research the search volume and competition for each keyword.
This will help you to determine which keywords are worth targeting with your SEO and PPC campaigns.
There are a few different ways to research keyword search volume and competition. You can use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer.
These tools will show you the average monthly search volume for a keyword, as well as the level of competition for that keyword.
You can also use Google Search to research keyword competition. Just enter a keyword or phrase into Google’s search bar and see how many results come up. If there are millions of results, then the keyword is highly competitive.
However, if there are only a few thousand results, then the keyword is less competitive.
Step 4: Understand The Importance of Intent When It Comes To Researching And Analyzing Keywords
It’s important to understand that people use different keywords for different purposes. Some keywords are used to simply find information, while others are used to make a purchase.
For example, someone who searches for “bike” is probably just looking for information about bicycles.
On the other hand, someone who searches for “buy mountain bike” is probably looking to make a purchase.
This is why it’s important to understand the intent behind each keyword that you research. What are people trying to find when they use that keyword?
You can use a keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner to find out the intent behind a keyword. Just enter a keyword into the tool and see how it’s classified by Google.
Step 5: Prioritize High-Volume, Low-Competition Keywords
Once you’ve researched the search volume and competition for your keywords, it’s time to prioritize the ones that are most likely to generate traffic and leads for your business.
To do this, you’ll want to focus on high-volume, low-competition keywords. These are keywords that get a lot of searches per month but don’t have a lot of competition.
You can use a keyword research tool like Ahrefs or Moz Keyword Explorer to find high-volume, low-competition keywords.
Just enter your keywords into the tool and see how they rank in terms of search volume and competition.
The competition metric is especially important here. You’ll want to focus on keywords with a low competition score, as these will be the easiest to rank for.
Once you’ve found some high-volume, low-competition keywords, it’s time to start targeting them with your SEO and PPC campaigns.
If you can get your website to rank for these keywords, you’ll see a significant increase in traffic and leads.
Step 6: Monitor Your Rankings And Traffic Over Time
Once your website starts ranking for your keywords, it’s important to monitor your progress over time.
This will help you see how well your SEO and PPC campaigns are performing and make adjustments if needed.
There are a few different ways to track your rankings and traffic. You can use a tool like Google Analytics or install a plugin like Rank Math or Yoast SEO.
Once you have your tracking set up, check your progress every few weeks to see how you’re doing.
If you’re not seeing the desired results, make changes to your campaigns and track again.
With patience and hard work, you should be able to achieve the rankings and traffic you’re after.
Tips to Generate a List of Potential Keywords
There are many different ways to generate a list of potential keywords for your SEO campaign.
The most effective approach depends on your business and how much information you have about your customers.
- Brainstorming: Start by brainstorming a list of potential keywords. This can be done by thinking about what words or phrases people would type into Google to find your website or blog. It’s also helpful to ask your customers what words they would use to describe your products or services.
- Keyword Research Tools: There are numerous keyword research tools available online, such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest. These tools allow you to plug in a word or phrase and see a list of related keywords as well as their competition level and search volume/traffic.
- Website Data: Another great way to come up with ideas for keywords is to look at the data from your own website. This data can be accessed through Google Analytics or other website analytics programs. By looking at the most popular pages on your website, you can get an idea for which keywords are relevant to your website.
The Importance of SERP Features
SERP features are the extra results that show up on a Google search page above the regular organic listings. These can include things like maps, images, videos, and product listings.
SERP features are important for SEO because they can help your website to stand out on the search page.
If you can get your website to show up in one of these SERP features, you’re more likely to get clicks and traffic.
There are several ways to get your website to show up in SERP features. The most effective approach depends on the type of SERP feature you’re aiming for.
Here are a few tips:
- Maps: To show up in map results, you’ll need to have a business listing on Google My Business. You can create or claim your listing by visiting Google My Business and following the instructions. Keywords play a big role in how likely your business is to show up in these results, so make sure to include optimized keywords on your website and in your listing.
- Images: To show up in image results, you’ll need high-quality images on your website that are properly tagged with keywords. Optimizing your images is much simpler than optimizing your website as a whole, so this is a great starting point for beginners.
- Videos: To show up in video results, you’ll need to have a video on your website that is properly tagged with keywords. You can also submit your video to video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo.
- Product Listings: To show up in product listings, you’ll need to have an ecommerce website with products that are properly tagged with keywords. You can also submit your product feed to Google Merchant Center.
- Local Pack: The local pack is a SERP feature that shows up for searches with local intent. To show up in the local pack, you’ll need to have a business listing on Google My Business. You can create or claim your listing by visiting Google My Business and following the instructions.
The Bottom Line
Keyword research is essential to SEO, PPC, and content marketing campaigns.
By doing keyword research, you can find the words and phrases that are most relevant to your business and have the greatest potential to get clicks and traffic.
There are several different ways to do keyword research, and the most effective approach depends on your business and how much information you have about your customers.
Amit Gupta is the creator of Keyword-Research.org
Amit is a keyword research guru. After completing his high school certification, Amit spent half a decade learning about different ways to do keyword research for SEO and PPC. Before forming Keyword-Research.org, Amit worked for top Keyword Research companies for more than 10 years. When Amit is not helping people with their keyword research, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends.